Reviewing the Canon 16-35mm f/4 at Crescent Falls

A couple weeks ago, I got my hands on some new glass, which is always fun.  I picked up the Canon 16-35mm f/4 IS which is a super-wide angle lens for full frame cameras.  I needed something wide to go along with the 6D I bought.  And, to be honest, I did more research on the lens than I did the camera body, because I really value good glass, and there are a number of options that provide similar results.  I ended up going with the Canon 16-35mm f/4 for a number of reasons.  It ended up being a question of value vs. quality.  In the range of lenses made by Canon you have the 17-40mm f/4 ($850) and the 16-35mm f/2.8 ($1800).  The 16-35mm f/4 is about $1200.  Thus, it fits pretty snug between the other two lenses as far as price goes.

16-35mm f-4 sample image

When it comes to quality, the 16-35mm f/4 actually handles chromatic aberration better than both of them.  It’s sharper in the corners than the 17-40mm.  And compared to the f/2.8 version it has image stabilization which makes it a better by for video and maybe even handheld shooting in a pinch.  Really the only reason to splurge for the f/2.8 version is you do a lot of star photography.  The quality compared to the 17-40mm is definitely worthy of the price boost, too.  And, as you’ll see from my video, I’m extremely pleased with how it turned out.  There are downloadable sample images below as well as some %100 crops so you can see the sharpness.


16-35mm f/4 IS Chromatic Abberation Handling

This was the big reason I thought the upgrade over the 17-40mm was warranted. Not only does it handle CA extremely well, but even when I shot images here at Crescent Falls, during sunset, a place where you would expect to see a lot of CA, it hardly showed any at all.  There certainly wasn’t any that couldn’t be handled with a little bit of correction in Lightroom.  Below, these are 100% crops of the cliff edges above Crescent Falls during the harshest light possible.  On my Sigma 10-20mm I would have seen a lot of CA both in the trees and the ledge.  Here, it’s very minimal. You can download all the sample images and crops here.

Canon 16-35mm Sample Image

Shot straight into the sun. No CA removed in lightroom. This is the harshest light you could ever shoot a landscape, and it’s not too bad.

Canon 16-35mm Sample Image

This is the image with the CA removed

Canon 16-35mm Sample Image

No CA has been removed from this image either. There is a minimal amount in the trees. But, really impressive.

Canon 16-35mm f/4 IS Sample Image

The minimal CA has been removed in this image in Lightroom.

 

16-35mm f/4 IS Sharpness

The sharpness really isn’t an issue at all with this lens.  It’s a bit soft in the corners at the wider apertures, but you expect that with a super-wide angle zoom lens.  Even at 16mm, once you hit about f/11 it’s quite sharp in the corners, although it probably couldn’t be claimed to be tack sharp right in the corners.  Zooming into 35mm, you have no sharpness issues at the corner. Below, are the crop samples of the sharpness at various apertures and focal lengths. You can download all the sample images and crops here.

Shot at f/4

Shot at f/4

100% Crop in the corner from f/4

100% Crop in the corner from f/4

Shot at f/5.6

Shot at f/5.6

100% Crop in the corner from f/5.6

100% Crop in the corner from f/5.6

Shot at f/9

Shot at f/9

100% Crop in the corner from f/9

100% Crop in the corner from f/9

Shot at f/11

Shot at f/11

100% Crop in the corner from f/11

100% Crop in the corner from f/11

Shot at f/16

Shot at f/16

100% Crop in the corner from f/16

100% Crop in the corner from f/16

 

16-35mm Sample Images

Of course, you also want to see the fully edited images, right?  Here are some edited images from the trip to Crescent Falls.  I didn’t edit any of these images more than just a touch here or there.  There is also no sharpness added to any of these images. Again, you can download all the sample images and crops here.

Canon 16-35mm f/4 IS Sample Image

16mm: f/16, 0.8seconds, ISO100

Canon 16-35mm f/4 IS Sample Image

24mm: f/11, 0.5seconds, ISO100

Canon 16-35mm f/4 IS Sample Image

23mm: f/11, 1.3seconds, ISO100

Canon 16-35mm f/4 IS Sample Image

35mm: f/16, 2.5seconds, ISO100

Canon 16-35mm f/4 IS Sample Image

16mm: f/16, 4seconds, ISO100

Canon 16-35mm f/4 IS Sample Image

16mm: f/16, 0.8seconds, ISO100

Canon 16-35mm f/4 IS Sample Image

34mm: f/16, 2.5seconds, ISO100

Canon 16-35mm f/4 IS Sample Image

16mm: f/11, 4seconds, ISO100

 

What’s Next on the Travel Photography Blog

I’ve got a bunch of fun things still to come on the channel including some sample images from the Canon 6D.  I might also try to get my hands on the new 7D Mark ii in the next couple weeks to see if I can give you a bit of a review.  Of course, there will also be some fun location in the next while as I’m hitting up the Rockies again before heading to the United States.

Author: Brendan van Son

Author: I am a travel writer and photographer from Alberta, Canada. Over my years as a travel photographer, I have visited 6 of the 7 continents and more countries than I have any desire to count. If you want to improve your skills, be sure to check out my travel photography channel on Youtube . Also, check out my profile on . to learn a little bit more about me and my work.

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8 Comments

    • Thanks Josh, glad you like them!

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  1. Wow, what interesting shots, the definition of the rocks is incredible. The ice crystals on the formations and the snow really add to the wintery image.(like you staged it, lol– great time of the year to be shooting.) The emerald green colour in the water is beautiful and of course the variety of water fall perspectives add a wonderful movement in the images. WELL DONE exploration with the camera and landscape!

    Post a Reply
    • Thanks Lori,
      Was a great time of year to shoot this scene for sure. Last time I was at Crescent Falls it looked like a completely different place.

      Post a Reply
  2. Great article/video! BTW Where did you get the profile for this lens? I don’t see in on the Adobe site. Didi you create one?

    Post a Reply
    • I actually don’t have one. I just do it manually where I see it necessary. I’m going to email the people at Adobe this week and see if there’s a profile coming. I think Lightroom 6 is coming out in a couple weeks. I wouldn’t be surprised if they released on with it.

      Post a Reply
  3. Lovely shots, but you did not really say how you took them. Did you use a tripod and any filters? They came out great. I want to learn from you.

    Post a Reply
    • Be sure to stick to my YouTube channel then Taylor. I talk about that stuff all the time. For the most part, I used no filter or a couple times I used a 3-stop grad ND filter. And, yes, I use a tripod for 99% of my landscape photos.

      Post a Reply

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